A.J. Jacobs recounts his attempt to throw the worlds biggest family reunion, and his efforts to connect with the billions of people he calls his "cousins" via a project called the world family tree. He discusses how this crazy project all began with an email from a dairy farmer in Israel, and quickly led him down a genealogical rabbit hole as he played "six degrees of A.J. Jacobs." He says any person on the planet is no further than 70th cousins with anyone else, and every one of the 7 billion people on earth will be connected through a global family tree within the next 10-20 years. A.J. discusses the potential for this idea to bridge divides, but he warns that genealogy can also expose uncomfortable truths and upend long held family narratives. Plus A.J. earns the ultimate Mormon street cred, attends a get-together of the Hatfields and McCoys, and nearly loses his mind trying to round up thousands of his "cousins" for the world's biggest family reunion.
Order A.J. Jacobs' book IT'S ALL RELATIVE: ADVENTURES UP AND DOWN THE WORLD'S FAMILY TREE on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Follow A.J. on twitter at @ajjacobs or at www.ajjacobs.com. Today’s episode is sponsored by Grasshopper, Credible.com, and iFit Nourish. Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.
Tina Brown is arguably the most influential magazine editor of the past 50 years, having served as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Tatler, and The Daily Beast. She discusses her new book The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992, tells stories of the glamorous and cut-throat magazine trade, and dishes about some of the larger than life personalities she encountered in that world including a young Donald Trump and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. She discusses the importance of the "mix" of a good magazine and recounts how she completely remade Vanity Fair from front to back. She recalls having a front row seat for the excess of New York in 1980’s, and gives the backstory behind some of her favorite Vanity Fair covers including Annie Leibovitz's now iconic portrait of a naked pregnant Demi Moore.
Order The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Follow Tina Brown on twitter at @TinaBrownLM or at www.tinabrownmedia.com. Today’s episode is sponsored by Credible.com. Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take our listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.
The Lean Startup founder Eric Ries talks about his new book The Startup Way. Eric recalls his first crash-course in entrepreneurship, what went wrong with his very first tech venture, and why having failed startup under your belt is something of a right of passage in Silicon Valley. He discusses the strikingly similar issues faced by both large corporations and new ventures, and why the biggest problem with many startups is that they simply never plan for success. He discusses how he helped form the innovative Fastworks Program at the granddaddy of legacy companies General Electric, and how a more entrepreneurial system can improve the bottom line for all kinds of organizations from large multinational corporations to government bureaucracies.
Order The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Follow Eric on twitter at @ericries or at www.theleanstartup.com.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Grasshopper. Please take our new listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.
Comedian Brian Reagan talks about his very first standup act, the worst gig he ever had, and the double-edged sword of being labeled a "clean comic." He reveals why he doesn’t like to see his audience,
why he never plays the town he lives in, and the incredibly weird audition that got him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Plus Brian has a bone to pick with whoever invented tennis scoring, and he offers his sage advice for Middle East peace.
Paul Reiser and Jeff Sotzing discuss their new show There's...Johnny!, a funny and heartwarming coming of age series set amid the backstage antics on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. They talk about bringing Carson to a new generation of TV viewers, meticulously recreating the look of The Tonight Show for There's...Johnny!, and building each episode around some of Johnny Carson's most iconic television moments. Paul recalls his first appearance on Carson, Johnny’s impeccable sense of comedic timing, and his generosity to young comics like himself. Jeff shares memories of his uncle Johnny and his time working on The Tonight Show including being there for Carson’s final episode. Plus the antics of the legendary Pat McCormick, the time Johnny Carson foiled an extortion plot, and Tony Danza as the oh so cool Tonight Show producer Freddie deCordova.
Season 1 of There’s...Johnny! is available on Hulu November 16. Keep up with Paul at www.paulreiser.com or on Twitter at @PaulReiser, and visit www.johnnycarson.com for memorable clips and other fun stuff from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush discuss their surprisingly normal childhood when they assumed that everyone’s grandfather got to have an inauguration, and why they initially didn't want their dad to run for President. Barbara discusses the difficulties of having the same name as the First Lady, and the time a Yale professor offered her an A if she could convince her dad to call off the Iraq War. Jenna talks about the infamous night they got caught drinking underage and recalls her and her husband's comical first date at the White House. They reveal the creepy dictator who had photos of them in his palace, their experiences on election night 2000 and 9/11, and weigh in on the recent story that neither their dad nor their grandfather voted for Donald Trump in 2016.
Order Jenna and Barbara’s #1 bestseller Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life on Amazon or Audible. To learn more, visit www.sistersfirst.com. Catch Jenna on The Today Show on NBC and follow her on Twitter at @jennabushhager. Learn more about Barbara’s terrific charity Global Health Corps at www.ghcorps.org and follow them on twitter at @ghcorps. Thank you to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for hosting our interview.
Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen discuss their new book You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. Alec shares his thoughts Donald Trump’s bizarre twitter war with SNL, and Alec reveals a secret fan he has in the White House. They talk about the mentally taxing process of getting into the strange mind of Donald Trump, how Trump has blurred the lines between reality and fiction, and Trump’s deep love for conspiracy theories and dictators. Plus Paul Ryan tells off the President, Ivanka tricks him into seeing a shrink, and we debate whether Trump is the Godfather or Freddo.
Order Alec and Kurt’s book You Can't Spell America Without Me on Amazon or download the audio version hilariously read by Alec and Kurt on Audible. Subscribe to Alec’s podcast Here’s the Thing and Kurt's podcast Studio 360 on iTunes and look for lots more of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump this season on Saturday Night Live. Visit the guys websites at www.kurtandersen.com and www.alecbaldwin.com and follow them on twitter at @alecbaldwin and @KBAndersen.
Comedian Iliza Shlesinger explains the often misunderstood and highly evolved way of thinking that she calls "girl logic." She relates girl logic to everything from the fashion and the work place to the most frustrating question a man can ask a woman - “what do you want to eat?” Plus Iliza shares her thoughts on Harvey Weinstein, guys who fake their own deaths, how to win a reality show, and how to deal with mermaid hate mail.
Order Iliza Shlesinger's new book GIRL LOGIC: The Genius and The Absurdity on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.
For Iliza's upcoming tour dates and more info, visit her website at www.iliza.com and follow her on twitter at @iliza.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried talks about his fear of being "outted" as family man in his new documentary GILBERT, recalls some of the worst gigs he ever had, and reveals why he used to look down on comics who "work dirty." He explains why nazis love him, tells traveling salesmen jokes, does his impressions Humphrey Bogart at the postoffice and Jackie Gleason as Rick in Casablanca, and tells his infamous Danny Thomas story.
His documentary GILBERT opens at the IFC Center in NYC on 11/3, Laemmle Fine Art Theatre in LA on 11/10 and then in theatres across the country. Subscribe to Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, and you can keep up with him at www.GilbertGottfried.com or on twitter at @RealGilbert.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and AppRiver. Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.